There are two types of transgender people, FTM (female to male) and MTF (Male to female).
In either case it requires a lot of expert care, surgery and therapy and is certainly not something that one would choose!
Most of us hate needles and operations not to mention having those operations ‘down there’ so to speak!
So imagine the terror the young transgender person goes through!
1. Accepting their gender dysphoria.
2. Rejection and misunderstandings from family and church.
3. The thought of all those operations.
While other people are out playing football and having fun the transgender person is dealing with fear, shame, confusion, anxiety, depression, social-phobia, loneliness and in many cases suicide!
To the average person who doesn’t know much about these things the solution seems very easy!
‘God made you with a penis therefore you are a boy and must grow into being a man’
‘God made you with a vagina so you are a girl and must be a woman’
This approach is black and white and seems to make sense! Until you actually talk to a transgender person that is!!!
They too would like if things were so simple but they are not! They speak of ‘transitioning or dying’ and say that they really have no choice!
And so it doesn’t help when well-meaning Christians threaten them with the fires of hell for actually doing all that they can to live!
Poor Toni had this experience in Medjugorje with some charismatic Catholics befriending him and then little by little forcing their agenda!
‘It’s because we love you that we must tell you’ they claim before using christian terms like ‘mutilating the body’ which is the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ to further justify their position!
The transgender person has enough going on without being threatened with hell for something that isn’t his/ her fault and while nobody would speak of mutilating the body in the context of a life-saving heart surgery, is it not very narrow-minded to use this term for something that is equally life-saving but in a different way?
And so the transgender person finds that they are often neither welcome or understood in church circles where they are often the object of gossip, ridicule and rejection!
We experienced this ourselves only last year in Medjugorje where we were utterly rejected when we reached out for help!
Like burning flames the judgements spread all through the Irish community with people warned to stay away from us! Only that Jesus sent us one very brave Irish priest who helped us immensely and had a special grace to just not care what people thought about him we might not have made it! Thank you Fr Don!
This priest was like Jesus! He befriended us and walked about with us and made no noise about being seen with us in public. He helped Toni immensely without the least bit of judgement and despite often been criticized by others for hanging about with “them” he didn’t change!!
Sadly this type of transphobia and homophobia is rife in the church and even sadder is when one is treated like this in a place which is said to be holy such as Medjugorje.
Others closed the doors of their houses on us or a castle in the case of one person and were waiting for us to leave as they tried to starve us of help in the same way as you’d starve a nest of rats!!
Others seemed to believe that if they could get Toni away from this dangerous Michael who didn’t know what he was doing that Toni could be healed and fixed!
There was no talk of the fact that it was I in my simplicity that Jesus had used with Seamus to pull Toni off the streets, off drugs, off hating the church and with almost no money we had provided him with a home, food and love!
And while we were named as fake missionaries just because Jesus hadn’t turned us straight and Toni into a woman, there was no talk of the fake Catholics with luxurious holiday homes out there unwillingly to lift a finger to help those in real need!!
Will God and will Our Lady be so easily fooled by such behaviour even in Medjugorje?
And yet by the grace of God we got through it and came to London where we have received immense support and understanding from some catholic priests and yet sadly, just like in Medjugorje, some judge and condemn these priests too because they think they know better!
And so today I’ll finish by saying that homophobia and transphobia are not acceptable behaviours from anybody and especially not from Christians.
They are evil and demonic to the core and no matter how many masses that one may go to or rosaries that one may pray, if one behaves like this then one does not know Jesus.
Our Lady’s most recent message in Medjugorje summarises this and shame on anyone who has been going to Medjugorje for so many years or even living and working out there and think that homophobia and transphobia are of God!
(Message to Mirjana on March 2nd 2020).
Today may we all humble ourselves and may we pray for the very wounded members of the transgender community and may we pray and give thanks to God for the small number of loving and merciful priests and missionaries who do so much to help and get so abused.
Our Lady of Medjugorje, Queen of peace, queen of the ‘apostles of love’.
Pray for us.